My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Julie’s Butterfly is a romance set in Europe around the little know skin disorder called epidermloysis bullosa. It’s an hereditary skin condition where normal skin strength and elasticity is missing a few genes and the sufferer gets cuts, wounds and open sores from simple knocks, scrapes and body stresses. People with the disorder are know as butterfly children because their skin is as delicate as the wings of a butterfly.
The version of Julie’s Butterfly which I read was a paperback translation into English by Alison Layland and I could not tell it was a translation. The main story begins with us meeting Julietta Hoffman at an art gallery exhibition for her friend Isabelle. Here she is introduced to Bastian Colbert the official photographer, she is very taken with him, but he is cold and defensive brushing off her attempts at conversation. However in truth he thinks she is a most beautiful creature and he admires her from afar, even taking her picture.
They meet again when thrown together to photograph a collection of Julie’s mother’s antiques and both are very uncomfortable working closely together until Julie pushed past Bastian’s icy walls of protection. Yet he runs away in fear.
Through perseverance they do come together but it is terrible hard for Bastian to reveal anything about himself, even when she is understanding of his suffering. But their relationship can never be true if he cannot learn to trust and to love himself.
It’s Bastian who forces a separation of the couple from where only he can return from the depths of despair and face his final hurdle.
This is a beautiful tender romance around a subject close to the author’s heart and one written with sensitivity and thought, it also shows the changing world of acceptance for sufferers of disorders which medicine is trying to help.
This review is based on a free copy of the book given to me by the author via translator Alison Layland.
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